The Cranbrook Bucks will have a couple of new faces behind the bench when they open the 2021 BCHL season in a few weeks.
Both Ehren Menard and Todd Skirving have been added to the Bucks’ coaching staff following the departure of assistant coach Adam Stuart.
“It is bittersweet to be leaving the Cranbrook Bucks program. I would like to thank Nathan Lieuwen and Ryan Donald for everything they have done for me, on a professional level but as well as a personal level,” said Stuart. “It is especially sad to leave behind such a great group of young men who I know will one day bring a championship to this great town. This is an elite program and I’m very proud to say I was a part of the inaugural season. With that said I look forward to my next role with NAX and the opportunity to continue my coaching career. Go Bucks Go!”
Stuart accepted a position with the Northern Alberta Xtreme in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL).
“I would like to sincerely thank Adam for his time here in Cranbrook, as he helped us lay the foundation for what this organization will be moving forward,” said Ryan Donald, Head Coach and General Manager of the Cranbrook Bucks. “One of our aims as an organization is to help grow, develop, and promote the people within our walls, and this certainly continues on to our coaching staff. I would like to wish Adam nothing but the best in his future at NAX and I look forward to continuing a strong working relationship with him.”
Replacing Stuart’s vacant assistant coaching positions, the Bucks have added Ehren Menard and Todd Skirving.
Menard most recently coached the U16AAA Knights of Columbus Centennials in Edmonton. He had previously coached the U18 and U16 teams for the past six years and was also the Director of Hockey Operations for KC’s U16 and U15 programs. Menard also served as a staff member for Team Edmonton at the Alberta Cup in 2019.
“We are excited to bring Ehren on board with us for the remainder of this season,” said Donald. “Ehren is a motivated young coach that has spent the past few years working with various levels of the KC organization in Edmonton. His passion and excitement for coaching are evident, and he will be an excellent addition for our players both on and off the ice.”
Skirving has previous experience in the BCHL. He spent time with both the Vernon Vipers and the Prince George Spruce Kings before he went on a four-year NCAA career at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Graduating in 2017, Skirving played more than 100 professional games in the ECHL and won a Kelly Cup Championship in 2019 with the Newfoundland Growlers, the ECHL’s farm team for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“Todd is a great addition to our staff as we head into the final stretch of the year. He is an enthusiastic young man who has been sidelined for the 2020/21 ECHL season as his team in St. John’s opted out for this year,” explained Donald. “Although he has been staying sharp and preparing for next season, coaching is something that he has grown interested in, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get his feet wet. As a former BCHL, NCAA, and current professional player, our guys will greatly benefit from his first-hand knowledge and experience.”
Overall, Donald said he is looking forward to working alongside Menard and Skirving as they join the team and help provide the best possible development and coaching for the Bucks players.
“Both guys have shown an incredible amount of enthusiasm about the opportunity to coach in the BCHL, and our players will certainly reap the benefits of their knowledge, energy, and passion for the game.”
The Cranbrook Bucks are set to open their shortened five-week season the first week of April. A full schedule, details on the five regional hub locations, and a fully updated player roster are all expected in the coming days.
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